Jack the Ripper – A Love Story ( Excerpt 20 )
I was working at my usual morning surgery at the Infirmary, when Cathy Eddowes, who I knew as a patient and a woman of somewhat dubious reputation. In her company was an attractive blond – haired lady, of a totally different class to the drab Eddowes.
She was clean, well spoken and smartly dressed, although her clothes were not of the best quality, on top of her outer clothes she wore a clean white apron. I took her to be a high-class shopgirl, maybe down on her luck. I was not impressed by the company she was keeping, but then the Eddowes woman may just have been giving her directions.
Maybe I was making something out of nothing, It was just that they looked so incongruous together, definitely chalk and cheese, as my damned Mother would say. The blond lady introduced herself as Mary Jane Kelly, she had quite a pleasant lilt to her voice which I took to be Irish, I later found her to be Welsh, but no matter. She, had come to see me about an irritating rash on her on her lower left arm, on examination it appeared too be an insect bite of some kind. I made up some ointment and with her consent administered some to the offending area.
I gave her the remainder and asked her to administer it twice a day, and telling her to return in a weeks time so that I might check it once more. She, thanked me graciously and shook hands, I don’t know if it was my imagination or just wishful thinking, but she seemed to hold on to my hand and look in to my eyes a trifle longer than was necessary.
The remainder of the day flew by, but all I could think of was Mary Jane Kelly, and the effect that she undoubtedly had on me, I felt elated, but also a little frightened. I don’t think I could stand to be hurt by a woman again.
Mary Jane Kelly’s Diary – April 4th 1886
I went with Cathy to the Whitechapel Infirmary today to see if the Doctor there could give me anything for the annoying rash I have on my left arm. The Doctor, Jack was his name, I do believe he took quite a fancy to me, but I wouldn’t turn him away. He was a handsome man in his own way, he is obviously a Gent, not a shred of doubt in my mind. The other girl’s say I ought to make a move on him, be sure of a warm bed. But I don’t know, there is something about him, I think someone has hurt him badly, I don’t want to give him more pain. He’s too good a man, and for sure you don’t meet many in our line of work.
(C) Damian Grange 2017